Sri Lanka : A Government elected for a term of office has no right to sell State Land to foreigners
Posted on June 20th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

The Daily Mirror of 20 June 2016 in an article titled ‘Government to allow foreigners to buy land’ has informed the public that the present government will amend existing land laws in a bid to liberalize laws to enable foreigners to make outright purchase of Sri Lanka’s state lands. This raises the question of what moral right a government that is elected for a term of office only can without seeking mandate of the citizens deem fit to give state land to foreigners permanently. Would we not be reducing the sovereignty of Sri Lanka when outright sale would mean the land rights will not belong to Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka is a small island have any in government thought of the long term repercussions when land is sold permanently to foreigners? Where is the voice of sanity?

Size of Sri Lanka – 65,610 km²

The yahapalana government is proposing to change the Land Act (Restriction on Alienation) which bars foreigners from owning lands brought in by former President Mahinda Rajapakse.

With the proposed changes any foreigner bringing USD1miliion can buy government lands for personal purposes. While there will also be no restrictions on foreign companies acquiring land for investments. In addition the government is going to offer 10 year temporary visa for ANY foreigner who will bring USD300,000.

A government can be desperate for money but this is bordering on lunacy simply to give a carte blanche for anyone extending money to have complete land rights in Sri Lanka.

Land laws in countries


Foreigners may not own land in their name; however their Thai registered company may own the land. A foreigner can buy land in Thailand if he is married to a Thai however the non-Thai spouse, needs to state that he/she has no rights over the land; effectively waiving rights to claim the property. The property must be in the name of the Thai spouse even if paid by foreigner. Married couple have to sign declaration at Land Department detailing how funds were raised.


Foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines, they can purchase units in condominium buildings, so long as foreign ownership in a single project will not exceed 40 percent. If married to a Filipino, the foreigner can buy land provided the title will be in his or her spouse’s name.

South Africa

The nation where at one time whites were owning black lands during apartheid. The South African government recently announced foreigners — who currently own some five to seven percent of South Africa’s land — would be allowed only to lease property for between 30 and 50 years, and may be required to cede land considered “strategic”.


Excellent laws and administrative procedures are in place in Australia to decide what type of foreign investment is conducive to the needs of the people.

National security is an important motivation in some countries that have prohibited foreign citizens from buying property in certain regions.

In Greece, non-EU/EEA citizens are not allowed to purchase real estate near military bases and state borders (e.g. near the Balkan borders, Dodecanese archipelago, Crete, and Rhodes). Similar bans are in place in Turkey and Estonia.

National preference – there are countries where whole districts are closed to foreign buyers.

Austria is an excellent example as there are limitations on half of the country’s federal states: Burgenland, Vienna, Lower and Upper Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

Switzerland has extremely strict rules on residency and citizenship, it has a famously restrictive Lex Koller” property law, which limits foreign purchases to resort property in specific cantons: Valais, Vaud, Graubünden and Ticino. In Finland, foreign citizens cannot buy property on Åland Islands. In Switzerland, foreign citizens cannot buy property over 200 sq m in size or land exceeding 1,000 sq m. In Montenegro, purchases of land for development may not exceed 5,000 sq m.

Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have taken steps to prohibit non-EU/EEA citizens from buying farmland – as Agricultural land belonging to natives is important to these countries.

Turkey bans nationals of Armenia, Yemen, Cuba, Nigeria, Syria and North Korea from buying real estate — but they can buy it through a company.


Foreign companies and individuals cannot buy land near state borders and within the territory of a port

Denmark prohibits non-EU nationals from buying a home unless they have lived in the country for five years – and, like Finland and Malta, is allowed by the EU to restrict EU citizens from buying second homes in the country.

Britain allows millionaires in Singapore to buy land and property in Britain, but Singapore bars British and other foreign nationals from buying in their country.

Brunei (island size is 5,765 km²)

Only Brunei citizens are allowed to purchase land. Foreign firms need a local partner to purchase land.

Fiji (island size is 18,274 km²)

Fiji government amends Land Sales Act to restrict foreign property ownership.

Haiti (island size is 27,750 km²)

Land holdings of foreigners are limited to 1.29 hectares in urban areas and 6.45 hectares in rural areas. Additionally, foreigners may not own property or buildings near the border. (even Haiti has better laws and concerns for protecting its land than Sri Lanka!)

Maldives (an island size is 298 km²)

Foreigners can own land provided 70% of it is reclaimed from the sea but they need to produce $1 BILLION (NOT USD 1MILLION Sri Lanka is offering)

The result of economic liberalism

The new Sri Lanka government is seeking any means to remain in power but selling the nation out is not the solution. The capitalist liberal system has destroyed the world and it is ruining the semblance of humanity in people. Has globalization served any purpose? 4.4billion people living in Africa, Asia and Latin America are struggling to survive, while the inequality statistics reveal that the richest 1% in the world own the rest of the 99%. There are close to 800million people who do not have enough to eat.

The present government came into power supported by the West openly acknowledged too. It takes us back to when Chile under General Pinochet who with US support came into power from a coup in 1973 and ousted the democratically elected leader Salvador Allende who was tortured and incarcerated in 1976. Pinochet did not build a single hospital in all his years of power and the country’s infrastructure was left practically untouched. In 1970, 20 percent of Chile’s population had lived under the poverty line; by 1990, when Pinochet left office, the poor had doubled to 40 percent. Pinochet guided by Western corporates abolished the minimum wage, outlawed trade union bargaining rights, privatized the pension system, abolished all taxes on wealth and on business profits, slashed public employment, privatized 212 state industries and 66 banks (removing restrictions on the nation’s banks was said to enable Chile to attract foreign capital to fund industrial expansion. Eventually the 2 conglomerates that bought the banks defaulted) Chile was a showcase of de-regulation gone berserk (exactly what Sri Lanka is heading towards)

The next example is that of Evo Morales who has proved that socialism doesn’t damage economies. He transformed Bolivia from an economic basket case” into a country even praised by IMF and World Bank ironically Morales refused both IMF and World Bank policies.  According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, Bolivia has grown much faster over the last eight years than in any period over the past three and a half decades.”

There is no right or wrong policy. Policies must however be homegrown and in the best interest of its citizens. Policies that are parachuted can never succeed.

Ideals of human civilization seen through civility, harmony, peace, mutual help, justice are no more or fast fading and have been replaced with greed for wealth, obscene wealth, control over and destruction of the working class. People do not realize what capitalists have destroyed because they have been destroying by substituting – replacing genuine with counterfeit, replacing democracy with capitalist fascism, creating one-party charades in lieu of genuine elections, fake news take role of intelligent journalism, legalized corruption and totalitarianism replacing freedoms

State of Fundamental Human Values

Positive Value Perversion
Reason, Intellectual Autonomy, Self-Awareness Cunning, Mind-Control, Deliberate Ignorance
Individualism Egomania, License, Greed
Altruism, Social Cohesion Totalitarianism, Capitalism
Rule of Law, Justice Rule of Corrupt Officials
Learning, Education Programming, Training, Conditioning
Commonwealth, Democracy Dictatorship, Plutocracy
Economic Commonwealth Fascism, Imperialism, Globalization
Prepared Military, National Defense Pre-emptive Unending War, Militarism
Information as Basis of Commonwealth Misinformation, Propaganda, Brainwashing

Capitalists have destroyed all structures of civilization creating a dog-eat-dog ideology through its capitalist system – owners, looters and the oppressed working class.

“Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized.”

Alfred North Whitehead

Sanity must prevail. The Sri Lankan Government must seriously stop and take stock of their governance. Their decisions are detrimental to the entire nation and likely to lead to irreversible damage.

Shenali D Waduge

3 Responses to “Sri Lanka : A Government elected for a term of office has no right to sell State Land to foreigners”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


    THEY seeeee NO Evil, hearrrrrrr NO Evil, and speeeeeek NO Evil.



    Applicants will have to put their Metal to Hightest TESTS. ONE TRMINSTOR WILL BE APPOINTED PROMPTLY , TO CLEAR THE AUGEAN STABLES OF THE PRESENT DESPOTS .OF YAMA PAALANAYA FAME…..srilankans will breathe a sigh of relief.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    The Opposition must also take the blame. If the Opposition says they will confiscate these lands when they come to power, the nasty plan will not work. Why aren’t they doing it?

    In 2003 when the UNF government was going on a privatisation spree, Mahinda declared he would confiscate SLTB and other entities lined up for privatisation from foreign buyers. This sent shockwaves among investors and they pulled out saving these entities.

    If allowed, only foreigners buying more land in Sri Lanka (in addition to genuine purchases from foreigners already) will be extremists and terrorists.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    What about the 5,000 acres on 99 yr lease to foreigners ?

    Sri Lanka is ONLY 25,000 sq miles in size.

    To raise money and create Jobs, GoSL should have many Free Trade Zones, all over the island. There is no need to sell off Lanka – only Traitors would do that !

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